AZ School Librarian

Reflections on the events and happenings of a new librarian, veteran teacher, and soon to retire educator in Arizona. I've been a music teacher, computer lab teacher (VIC 20, Apple IIe, C-64, MacPlus, and PC), curriculum integration specialist, and am about to add Library Media Specialist to the list. My interests include photography, 4 wheeling (in a Jeep Unlimited), hiking, technology, and renovating my house.

Monday, July 10, 2006

NECC post wrap

Well, its been 3 days since I left San Diego behind, to return to "sunny" Arizona. I've had time to share and chat with others about the experience.

Standout - Keynote by Dewitt Jones. Absolutely awesome speaker, fantastic comments, and a topic that translated well for me into many other areas of my life. I found myself talking about Dewitt's keynote to anybody that would stand still. Even better was the opportunity to live a part of what he spoke about, learning how to soar.

Exhibit Floor - always the biggest and the best. Great ideas every year, and it makes we wish that the world was setup in a way to spend %50 of budget on education. Events like these leave us having to make tough choices about what we will be able to provide for our students. Even harder is trying to decide which things are going to be around next year - and which are passing fancies - fun but not yet ready for the mainstream classroom. A nice way to ask, are podcasting and blogging just fads that will fade, or is this the new way we'll use to find and disperse information?

Trade Trash collected: 3 tshirts (Avid, M-Audio, Inspiration), one insulated lunchbox (Intel) two water bottles (CDW-G and Intel) 2 pens, and about 15 business cards for follow-up.

To my great surprise (I don't win drawing often at all!) I won a new Magellan eXplorist GPSr at the final session. I've been wanting a new one, I can't see my old Garmin too well anymore (My problem - not the Garmin's).

I went on the floor to get a question answered at the TechSmith booth - and they were terrific. They were able to answer my question, show me something in SnagIt that I can use as soon as school starts (popup labels in images, exported in Flash), and tease me with the capabilities in Camtasia.

The folks from Avid were also outstanding - doing a great series of demos and answering questions that seemed to dribble from my mind over the next 3 hours. I almost talked my way into some free software too! I can't get over the fact the they are released the Media Composer program for educators at $295.00. Wow!

The Adobe Booth was a little bit of a split personality. The purchase of Macromedia is still evident, many of us are wondering how this will all settle out. Version 8 of Studio was a hopeful sign!

Sessions - this is the first time I never left a session. I usually have a talent for reading the title and abstract, thinking "This will be just what I need to see/hear!" and then learning that the presentation isn't at all what I wanted to hear about. Then its across the hall or down to the next building to grab the next choice. Not so this time, every session was a winner. I walked out with good stuff that I can use come August - for students and staff.

Food - hmm. Many folks in our group were looking forward to eating in SanDiego. Only one member of the troop reported a great experience. He ate in the Old City Center, someplace that serves fried prickly pear cactus. He loved it, the other member of the bunch that are with him seemed a little uncertain. Everyone else (including myself) reported ho-hum meals, at "wow" prices. One stand out was at a place called "Stingaree." Interesting building, fine food (provided by the Edmin folks) and a great roof. If we had only known!

As always, the most valuable part of the experience is the one that isn't organized. The meetings in the hallway, the chance encounters with people who know what you want to know (or want to know what you know) are the best bit of all. I know that the "Birds of a Feather" sessions are meant to provide a similar opportunity, but there's something about the discovery process that adds spice and excitement.

The only blight on the entire trip was from the fine folks at Marriot, who decided to charge my credit card for the room, instead of billing my district as was agreed to by the travel agency and Marriot. There was an excited flurry of phone calls, and my district quickly stepped up and took care of the bill. The only question left is will Marriot double bill?

If you haven't been - its time to start planning to attend in Atlanta, end of June, 2007!

Technorati Tags: education, necc, necc06, necc06prep, necc2006

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